City pension bond Q&A

Public informational meeting June 8 on city’s $140 million obligation

Chico City Manager Mark Orme. (CN&R file photo)

As the city of Chico considers refinancing its pension debt with bonds, officials will bring the issue to citizens Tuesday afternoon (June 8, 2 p.m.) in a public informational meeting at City Council Chambers, also streamed online.

The city’s employee pension obligation through the state is over $140 million with a 7 percent interest rate, according to Chico Administrative Services Director Scott Dowell. The City Council voted April 26 to start the legal process required to issue bonds to pay off part or all of that amount at a lower interest rate. The city contracted with both a law firm and a consulting firm specializing in pension obligation bonds; the latter will conduct the informational meeting.

Tuesday’s session—set for two hours, in person and online via the city’s website—will provide what City Manager Mark Orme told the CN&R by email is “an opportunity for the community to learn, ask questions and engage over the prospects of such a bond.”

Orme (pictured) added that city officials have not decided whether to pursue this course: “The City of Chico continues to evaluate what options may be financially prudent to help manage through the pension obligations the city faces over the next decade.”

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